A joke I heard once but forgot about until now.

July 25, 2011

A Facebook friend posted it and I thought I’d do the same:

A burglar is working his way through the living room when he hears a a voice from the dark call out, “Jesus is watching you!” He swings the flashlight around the room but sees nobody. Again he hears, “Jesus is watching you!” This time he locates the source – a parrot sitting high on a perch.

“What’s your name?” he asks.

“Moses,” replies the parrot.

“What sort of person would call their parrot Moses?” he asks.

The parrot retorts, “The same type of person who calls their rottweiler ‘Jesus’.”


“funny headlines are serious business”

May 13, 2011

I quote an article from the Atlantic where there’s some concern over what guides an audience to an article online. In early days of paper publishing, a pithy headline was a guaranteed eye-catcher. These days, though…

Despite the fact that Crowley has won ACES’ top award for headline writing, he regularly finds that his funny headlines for the Review-Journal have been re-written by the online desk to be more search-engine-friendly. For example, when Harrah’s casino announced plans to build a new entertainment center with an observation wheel, Crowley came up with the headline “Brave new whirl.” The online desk changed it to “Harrah’s plans retail, entertainment center.”

“I understand the shift toward search optimization,” he says. “But I think we’re losing something when we take the wordplay and surprise out of headline writing.”

In a widely circulated 2010 article criticizing SEO practices, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten made the same point by citing a Post article about Conan O’Brien’s refusal to accept a later time slot on NBC. The print headline: “Better never than late.” Online: “Conan O’Brien won’t give up ‘Tonight Show’ time slot to make room for Jay Leno.”

Off, but near topic, I search specific keywords when I look for things to write about, (usually “God news” or “Jesus news”) and I’ve noticed a predilection for some of the results to highlight a religious connection to the story, even if the story itself could be about all kinds of topics. If it’s a celebrity interview, for example, the article headline might note some comment made about that celeb’s beliefs as if that’s more important than the train wreck their career is having. (Assuming that’s actually important. Sometimes I question what qualifies as “news”.) All the Lindsay Lohan stuff comes to mind as a prime example. Between her father’s religion, his crimes, dreams of God rehab, and now forays into Scientology, it seems like religiously inspired topics get used just to keep certain people in the news, not because what they’re up to is particularly newsworthy.

Getting back to the article:

Before the session wraps up, a young copy editor raises her hand to ask Crowley about the conflict between funny headlines and SEO guidelines.

“A lot of times I’ll write something, and the online desk will rewrite it because it doesn’t work.” He crosses his arms and leans against the dry-erase board. “And that’s because Google doesn’t laugh.”

If hilarious headlines are less desirable in respected online papers, at least there are blogs to pick up the sarcastic/ironic slack. Slate gets mentioned in the article as being a site that still makes room for humour while staying true to the story because they know what their core audience wants and appreciates. They appreciate being in on the joke, for one thing. Popular bloggers (and virtual unknowns like me) might have a better shot at catching the audience eye because they aren’t under any guidelines about what makes for an “acceptable” headline. I’d joke even more than I do already in order to snag the notice of readers who might not have clicked my links otherwise. There are still people who appreciate a play on words. It’s evidence of wit, but more than that, it’s evidence that we’re trusting the audience to understand it. It’d suck to reach a point where nobody can anymore.


It’s drafty in here (humour and offense)

March 24, 2011

I recently posted about a kid who was using her t-shirt at school to promote her faith and got in trouble over it. She got in trouble, not me. Just clarifying that.

In the National Post at the end of December last year, there was an article titled The death of humour and I’d fully intended to check out the rest of their “Year in Ideas” series when I saw it but then forgot. Big surprise there.

How are these things related, you might wonder? Personally, her shirt reminded me of a joke: How do you make holy water? You boil the hell out of it. Wearing a shirt that says, “Jesus, he scares the HELL out of you” should be equally funny (if dumb jokes are your thing) but it wasn’t. The school opted to call foul on the use of HELL on school property and a news story resulted.

Not long after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, Twitter was a-fluttering with tweets on the topic, some of which were entirely tasteless. Gilbert Gottfried got a tsunami of bad press after his series of tweets and that cost him his job with Alfac Inc. He’s since apologized.

It makes a person wonder, though: has crass taken the place of comedy, or are we just becoming too thin skinned and perceiving offense where none was meant? Onto the NP article:

In the war between literalism and irony, the first casualty is jokes.

The trend is global, and Canada is not the worst affected. Just as the American obesity epidemic is sometimes described as 10 years ahead of Canada’s, so does Britain — where the tourist attraction of Speaker’s Corner is the only place you are truly allowed to speak freely — offer a glimpse of what might be in store.

One of its most celebrated and blackest comics, Rowan Atkinson (who, for the literalists out there, is not actually black) advocates against laws that aim to ban speech that could be considered offensive to certain groups, and which are lethal to comedy.

This puts in mind the blasphemy laws Ireland set up. Michael Nugent, of Atheist Ireland said at the time,

“We believe in the golden rule: that we have a right to be treated justly, and that we have a responsibility to treat other people justly. Blasphemy laws are unjust: they silence people in order to protect ideas. In a civilised society, people have a right to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous.”

I’d say the same extends to comedy but I don’t think that translates into a free pass to be an asshole. Joan Rivers defended Gottfried, her argument being that comedy helps people deal with tragedy. While I agree with her to some extent, it’s so easy to go too far with it. I think Gottfried did, for which he Gottfired.

Anyone who’d mock a tragedy as it happens deserves a fair amount of derision, especially when it’s done so publicly. I think there’s still a need for some sense of personal responsibility in terms of what we say and give to the world. I think it’s even more important now given how far across the world an idea can get, and how fast it happens. Gottfried showed no compassion at all. He wasn’t mocking an ideology or belief system or drawing Mohammad. He was cracking jokes at the expense of people dying through no fault of their own. That’s nothing anyone should laugh at or applaud. What kind of human beings are we if we do that?

Typical ones, I suppose. Satire like it is, even The Onion gets it:

According to Perkins, the exceedingly rare occurrence of the human race simultaneously feeling a moment of tenderness and selfless concern for others only has a handful of modern precedents: Similar behavior occurred for 22 minutes following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, for six minutes following the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, and for slightly under four seconds after news first broke of the trapped Chilean miners last year.

Experts calculated that in order for everyone on Earth to act like a good person for 30 minutes, 1,000,000 human beings would have to die in a volcanic eruption or flood. For an hour of worldwide charity and altruism to take place, statistics suggested that an entire ethnic group would have to be genocidally murdered in a single afternoon on live television.

In order for people to be decent and caring for an entire day, there reportedly would have to be only 12 survivors left on the planet, though by the next morning they would likely begin arguing, slandering, and killing each other for resources.

I’d really hate for them to be right…


Dumb joke day, round 3

February 8, 2011

A man is walking through the forest and runs a bear, who begins chasing him. Running for his life, the man shouts, “Oh God! Please help me!”

God responds, “Why should I help you? You’ve never called on me before, but now that you’re in trouble, you expect me to be there for you?”

The man replies, “Well, at least make the bear into a good Christian then!”

Suddenly the bear stops, puts his paws together, and says “Dear Lord, thank you for this meal you’ve set before me….”

(source)

A middle-aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
While on the operating table, she had a near death experience.

Seeing God, she asked “Is my time up?”

God said, “No, you have another 43 years, 2 months, and 8 days to live.”

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a
facelift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come
in and change her hair color. Since she had so much more time to live,
she figured she might as well make the most of it.

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While
crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, “I thought you said I had
another 40 years? Why didn’t you pull me from out of the path
of the ambulance?”

God replied, “I didn’t recognize you!”

(source)

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer when all of a sudden he said aloud, “Lord grant me one wish”. The sky clouded and a booming voice said, “Because you have tried to be faithful I will grant you one wish.” The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want to.”

The Lord answered, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time to think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me”.

The man thought for a long time and finally said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know what they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing’, and how I can make a woman truly happy?”

After a few minutes God said, “How many lanes did you want on that bridge?”

(source)


Dumb joke day continues

February 8, 2011

Five more groaners for ya:

1. Did you hear about the human cannonball who lost his job?
2. What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
3. What do you call a cow in tall grass?
4. What’s green and sings?
5. Did you hear about the peanuts that walked down an alley?

Read the rest of this entry »


I declare today to be dumb joke day

February 8, 2011

I can’t think of anything to write anyway, so jokes it is.

1. What do you call a dead bee?
2. What do you call a fly with no wings? (joke fixed to make sense)
3. What’s brown and sticky?
4. Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?
5. Why do gorillas have big nostrils?

Read the rest of this entry »


I don’t feel like writing today

October 28, 2010

Have a comic.

funny puns-Church Mice
see more So Much Pun


Comedic Interlude II — because it’s better

July 14, 2010

Mrs. Peggy Parks, who’d recently made it into Heaven, was congratulating herself on the fact that she really was that kind of a terrific Christian that makes her way into paradise without too much fear of otherwise. When looking over the fence at all those folks way, way, waaaaaay down in the pits of Hell, she knew she was very fortunate. Then she panicked, because that made it sound like she was proud of herself, and pride’s a sin.

Luckily, nobody’s inner angel felt the need call her on it — it was something of an illicit addiction everyone had, wandering over to look down on Those Folks once in a while; it was kind of like getting away with watching Jerry Springer. Instead, she was called for supper.

The meal was simple fare; a heel of bread, a bowl of rather bland broth (“Is it also a sin to envy anyone with a bottle of Mrs. Dash?” she tried to stop herself from wondering), and a short glass of water the flavour of..well, not much at all, really. Still, soul food is soul food; mustn’t grumble. Much.

St. Peter joined her at the table a moment later, bringing his habitual supply of Gerkens (not the pickles, sadly) candles, which he carefully set into the plain granite holders and lit before seating himself on the hard bench to pray over his own nearly empty plate.

As they slurped the broth and tried to chew their slices of the stale loaf, Mrs. Parks felt compelled to ask St. Peter about something she’d noticed.

“Um, Pete,” she still couldn’t get over how informal the whole place was. “I noticed those poor souls over the fence–

“God damn them, and quite properly too,” interjected Peter, mumbling around the dry bread and spitting crumbs across the table.

“Um yes,” she agreed hastily, wiping the crumbs onto the floor with a nervous sweep of her hand. “I saw that they had quite the gourmet spread down there. I’m sure I saw prime ribs, lobster, Beluga caviar, tiramisu, and what looked to be a very rare bottle of port from quite a good year.” It took the sin of creating some binoculars out of the ether about the place just to make sure she was correct – sin on top of sin there; she really was going to get herself in trouble one of these days. She got on with her question, speaking quickly, “And I was just wondering if we’d be having something similar up here, perhaps, sometime?” That bottle was really preying on her mind.

“Nah, Pegs” said Peter, rubbing the remains of broth and crumbs off his lips with the sleeve of his miraculous, self cleaning robe. “There’s so few of us up here, it’s hardly worth the effort to make a big meal.”

*got the original joke from my great aunt but felt like it needed a bit more elaboration.


Comedic interlude, only because it’s awesome

July 13, 2010

Normally I despise forwarded jokes but this one had me snorting pretty good, so yes, it gets passed onto you:

A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment.

As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit.. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile..

After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow’s curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing.

“Excuse me, Mr. Prince of Darkness,” he said. “I’m waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn’t help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?”
Read the rest of this entry »


The One Minion Search Party, volume 11

February 4, 2009

history of cannibal people in jail

I found the Czech story to be pretty interesting last year and Jeffrey Dahmer made a few headlines in his day.

I don’t get this assumption, though.

This web page was intended to serve the purpose of making people aware of the great atrocity of abortion taking place throughout the world. The particular pictures may be a bad attempt at some sort of humor, but since it has been reported that abortionists/midwives in China have eaten aborted babies in the belief that they will restore some degree of health (a variant of herbal medicine) and are reputed to be selling them for such purposes, it is not far fetched to believe that dead babies are being eaten.

Here’s a response to those kinds of ideas.

The claim that baby eating is an accepted practice in China (or Thailand, Japan, Korea, or Israel, etc.) is essentially a modern version of an ancient form of bigotry known as “blood libel” — one group accusing another of murdering infants in ritual sacrifices. According to the Greeks, the Jews did it; according to the Romans, the Christians did it; according to the Christians, it really was the Jews who did it; and so on down through history.

Sociologists say the driving forces behind such prejudices are ignorance, xenophobia (fear of foreigners), and psychological projection (attributing the perceived moral failings of one’s own culture to another). As an example of the latter, it has been speculated that the spread of horror stories in the West about the supposed use of unborn babies as food in Asia may be fueled by qualms about practices closer to home — practices such as abortion and the so-called “cannibalization” of fetal tissue for scientific research.

There’s also the fact that the artist who first put together the baby eating display has admitted it was, in fact, art. Performance art. And,

if Zhu’s claims were factual he’d probably be serving jail time right now. There is no reason to suppose the government of China is any more tolerant of cannibalism than governments anywhere else, and the fact that Zhu’s work was rejected from an official exhibition bears that out. By his own “admission,” the fetuses Zhu allegedly cooked and ate were obtained illegally, thus if he is telling the truth he could be prosecuted as an accomplice in that crime, as well.

In early 2001, a Malaysian tabloid published several of the photos in conjunction with a story alleging that the signature dish of a particular Taiwanese restaurant contains the “meat” of human infants. Taiwan government officials immediately demanded a retraction — a de facto confirmation that baby eating is not particularly well-accepted by the Chinese.

Oh, and then there are the more recent stories of atheists that also want to nibble on babies. At least we’ll joke about wanting to.

Especially if you dare dress your baby like this:

Mmmm, baby!

Mmm…baby burger..You know, A&W serves Baby Burgers…


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